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MARCH HERB OF THE MONTH
RAMPS

Allium tricoccum


Ramp, ramps or spring onion, wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) is a North American species of wild onion and it is widespread across eastern Canada and Eastern U.S.

Allium tricoccum is a bulb-forming perennial with broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion-like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. The flower stalk appears after the leaves have died back. Ramps grow in close groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.

In Canada ramps are considered rare species. Allium tricoccum is a protected species under Quebec legislation. Ramps are considered a species of “special concern” for conservation in Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. They are also considered “commercially exploited” in Tennessee. Ramp festivals may encourage harvest in unsustainable quantities.

Allium tricoccum is popular in the cuisines of the rural uplands of its native region. The plant’s flavor is a combination of onions and strong garlic. It is adaptable to numerous cooking styles. In central Appalachia, ramps are most commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat or scrambeled with eggs and served with bacon, pinto beans and corn bread. Ramps can also be pickled or used in soups and other foods in place of onions and garlic.

The Menominee, Cherokee, Iroquois, Potawatomi, and Ojibwa all consume the plant in their traditional cuisines. The Cherokee eat the plant as a spring tonic, for colds and for croup. They use the warm juice for earaches.



in parts by Wikipedia

Photo by Hardyplants